BTW lucky me turned out to have chosen the only one that totally tanked to try out first (single.php). The other templates from @juggledad do not cause any error with Atahualpa 3.5.3 but they also do not show the sidebar and do not seem to be connecting to all of the CSS info.
Believe me, I understand that all of this open-source stuff is great and great things evolve from it and this just seems to be one of those things that has not completely evolved. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to consider this issue.
The site I am working on is not a public site, so unfortunately I can't post a link.